- RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat speaks at Day 2 of outreach conclave
- Says Hindutva means inclusivity and Indianness
- He also tackled Rahul Gandhi's comparison of RSS with Muslim Brotherhood
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said today that "Hindutva" means inclusivity and accepting Muslims is a part of it. "Hindu Rashtra doesn't mean there's no place for Muslims. If we don't accept Muslims, it's not Hindutva. Hindutva is Indianness and inclusivity," he said, speaking at a three-day conclave.
Mohan Bhagwat also tackled Rahul Gandhi's recent comparison of the RSS with the Muslim Brotherhood. "The Sangh talks of a global brotherhood. This brotherhood envisages unity in diversity. This is the tradition of Hindutva. That's why we call it a Hindu Rashtra," he said, without referring to the Congress president.
Mr Bhagwat also said the aim of the Sangh was to unite the entire society. "Since the birth of the Sangh, it has decided to stay away from politics. It will neither contest elections, nor participate in electoral politics. RSS functionaries cannot be office bearers of a political party," he said.
The RSS of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP.
Its "Bhavishya ka Bharat - an RSS perspective" conclave is being seen by many as a rare outreach by its chief Mohan Bhagwat, who surprised his audience on Day 1 by praising the role of the Congress in the freedom movement. "Congress played a big role in the freedom struggle and gave India many great personalities. Some of those people are still our guiding force," he said.
The RSS chief also said yesterday: "Hindutva binds us together and our vision of Hindutva is not to oppose or demean anyone."
Today, Mr Bhagwat also sought to distance the organisation from any political role saying the Sangh has views on national issues but does not interfere in the government's functioning.
"Often people make this speculation that a call from Nagpur (RSS headquarters) must be behind a particular decision (of the government). This is all baseless. All those working (in the government) are seniors and they are far more experienced in politics than us," said the RSS chief, asserting that "They are our Swayamsevaks, but are capable of doing their job."
He also spoke about the constitution and said that RSS respects it. He said the RSS never worked against the constitution or law.